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Ion Storage Group Research

The NIST Ion Storage Group carries out research on a wide range of topics in quantum information and precision measurement. Below is a listing of current research activities; click the links for additional information.

Trapped Ion Optical Clocks

We use trapped ions for precision metrology of optical frequency, which provides the basis for diverse applications from optical clocks to tests of fundamental physics and relativistic geodesy.

Staff Scientists: David Hume, Mason Marshall, James Chin-Wen Chou

Ion trap for aluminum ion clock


Quantum Computing with Trapped Ions

The coherent control of quantum-mechanical systems holds promise for revolutionizing computing. We develop new architectures and technologies to improve the fidelity and scalability of quantum control and readout for quantum computing based on trapped ions in radio-frequency traps.

Staff Scientists: Dietrich Leibfried, Daniel Slichter, Andrew C. Wilson

Ion trap with integrated superconducting photon detector
Credit: D. Slichter/NIST


Quantum Simulation and Sensing with Trapped Ions

We use magnetic and electric fields in a Penning trap to confine two-dimensional Coulomb crystals of ions. We can perform quantum simulations of many-body spin Hamiltonians in these systems, and can perform sensing of electric fields below the standard quantum limit using quantum mechanical squeezing.

Staff Scientists: John J. BollingerAllison Carter

Penning trap for confining 2D ion Coulomb crystals


Precision Measurement and Quantum Control of Trapped Molecular Ions

We use quantum logic techniques to prepare, control, and measure the rovibrational and electronic states of single trapped molecular ions using co-trapped atomic ions.

Staff Scientists: James Chin-Wen Chou, Dietrich Leibfried

Cartoon image of trapped molecular ion and atomic ion


Quantum Networking with Trapped Ions

Quantum networks, a promising resource for computing and sensing, generate useful entanglement between locations separated by geographic distances. Our research is focused on generating high-fidelity remote entanglement between trapped ion qubits using telecom photons. The key enabling step is using an ion-trap-integrated fiber Fabry-Pérot cavity for efficient entanglement generation between ions and telecom photons.

Staff Scientists: Dietrich Leibfried, Daniel Slichter, Andrew C. Wilson

ion trap with integrated fiber Fabry-Perot cavity


Created April 10, 2023, Updated August 17, 2023